Now I know I am a hopeless optimist when it comes to the Jets. I will talk myself into any coach or quarterback and always think they are a few good breaks away from being a contender. This year is the first year since 2011 where I don’t need to fake that optimism. Part of it is likely just the fact that Gase is gone and with him it feels like a dark cloud has been lifted off the team. Another part is the fact that we reset the QB clock and don’t need to lie to ourselves about Sam Darnold. I think the biggest thing though is Bob Saleh is a coach fans can actually believe in. Couple that with a GM who is trying to build a team through the draft and spending high picks on offensive line/offensive weapons has me feeling like the Jets might be finally headed in the right direction.
At the end of the day all of the Jets fan optimism comes down to if Zach Wilson is a franchise quarterback. I am optimistic he can be but I was also optimistic Darnold could be. You can read a million different things about him some in favor of his future prospects some shitting down his throat. The biggest reason I think he will be successful is because he is in an environment that is conducive to his success. He has actual good weapons on the outside, he has a line with young good talent and he has a offensive coordinator who will play to his strengths. I think the main reason the Darnold Gase relationship didn’t work out is because Gase never played to Darnolds strengths. He tried to make Darnold Peyton Manning and that’s just not who he is. The second biggest reason it didn’t work is because Adam Gase has shit for brains.
All the optimism Jets fans like myself are feeling is looking toward the future and liking what is being built. The Jets this year are still predicted to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. While I don’t think the Jets will be competing for the super bowl this year I do think they will be better than many people think. Let’s get into some of my Jets futures picks to dive deeper into why I like the Jets this year.
Win Total: O/U 6.5
The Jets over 6.5 right now is +130 on my online sports book. I don’t know how you can’t love the over at those odds. Looking at the Jets schedule they start off with Carolina and have Teddy Bridgewater and Denver in week 3. That should be two easy wins there. Then add in 2 more wins for the Texans and Jags. They have the Eagles and Bengals at home which should be 2 more. Now we just need to find one more win to hit the over. Falcons in England? Maybe, the Jets owner Woody Johnson is basically an Englishman so this is essentially a home game. At the Colts? I could see that, Wentz sucks ass and if history has shown us anything he will likely be down with an injury by then anyway. Even with those two toss ups games, you have to think they can win 2 of their division games. I don’t know how 6.5 doesn’t hit for the Jets especially once they get their identity on offense and their corners get some game action under their belt.
Bet: Over 6.5
Jets to Make the Playoffs: +490
Looking at the above paragraph if everything goes right the Jets finish in the 10-7/11-6 range. That’s a playoff record. Given the odds I don’t know how you don’t toss a little moeny on this bet.
Jets to Win AFC Title(+5000) and Super Bowl(+10000)
If you are already tossing money on the Jets to make the playoffs might as well add the AFC and Super bowl too. The Jets owner is also the Johnson in the Johnson and Johnson name. They are the first Covid vaccine approved by FDA. If you don’t think the Jets players will get first dibs on a super vaccine once J&J develops it then you are a moron. This will give them the leg up in the Covid restrictions and will help them once their opponents are down players in the playoffs. A few positive Covid tests to other teams starting QBs and the Jets sneak their way into the Super bowl and at that point it’s a coin toss.
Bet: Yes and Yes
Zach Wilson to Win Rookie of the Year
I feel like this is an obvious bet given his odds to win the award. If the Jets are good like I think they can be it will be because Wilson is showing signs of being a great QB. If they are bad then Wilson will get a ton of action playing from behind and be able to pad his stats. The same can be said for Lawrence but I like the Jets coaching staff better than the Jags and Urban Meyers.
Pick: Yes + 700
Zach Wilson Over 3850.5 Passing yards and 21.5 TDs
Now I didn’t parlay these but I think they should be included in the same explanation. If Wilson can stay healthy for all 17 games all he will have to do is average over 227 yards per game and 1.3 TDS per game. That is very doable in today’s NFL and would actually put him near the bottom of the league in terms of yards and TDs. If you think the Jets will beat their win total these overs are easy choices because if they play well Wilson will hit these marks and it will likely mean he’s stayed healthy. Even if you think the Jets will suck ass I still love these overs, if they suck they will be trailing more and in turn have to air it out. Therefore shattering these totals.
Jets @ Carolina (-4)
If you are one of the 10 people that listen to Calm Before the Score you will have heard my thoughts on this game and how it should be bet. The line is sitting at CAR -4 right now a slight movement from where it opened. I’m still confused how the Panthers with Sam Darnold as QB are favored in a football game. Darnold has been the worst quarterback in the NFL since he came into the league. Turning the ball over at an alarming rate and never finishing a season with above 7 YPA. He has a career 78.2 passer rating and 59% completion percentage. All of those marks are below where any competent NFL quarterback should be. I think he will be better with Joe Brady and has a chance to become a solid starter but to think he will flip the switch in his first game is crazy town. Maybe bookies are looking at CMC being back and expecting the Panthers to control the game on the ground. That’s a fine thought process but it’s tough to do when your interior offensive line is greatly outmatched by the other teams defensive line. The Panthers are starting Pat Elflein and Dennis Daley, two players who are bottom 10% run and pass blockers. The Jets on the other hand have a stable of interior defensive line talent who can both rush the passer and defend the run. Given Darnolds time in NY if the Jets can pressure him up the middle they should easily be able to cover and win outright. This game screams late game pick 6 from Darnold. All this isn’t to bash Darnold it’s just important to point out that he sucks ass. A few player props I like are Corey Davis to have over 55.5 receiving yards and score a TD. Zach Wilson loves to force feed Corey Davis and he should be able to get open against a young secondary.
Picks: NY -4, NY ML, Corey Davis Over 55.5 Rec Yards, and Anytime TD scorer
SEA (-3) @ IND
I just talked above about how bad Darnold was and for as bad as he played Wentz was on par with him in terms of shitty play. Add in the fact Wentz missed basically all of training camp with a foot injury does not set up for early success. People think that Wentz will be back to his 2017 self with him old QB coach but I don’t see it that way. Wentz struggled with piss poor accuracy last year. I don’t know how much Frank Reich can help him remember how to throw a football. while Wentz is still relatively young he has had many significant injuries since entering the league that has caused him to look like a shell of his former self. A torn ACL, a broken back, and now foot surgery this training camp. I just don’t trust Wentz and I do trust Wilson which is why I am going with the Seahawks here.
Pick: SEA -3
MINN (-3) @ CINN
Zach Taylor has the worst winning percentage of any active head coach. The offensive line that got Burrows leg torn to sheds last year still stinks. Their defense is still very bad. To top it off, their top pick who everyone thought could be a top tier receiver has a case of the YIPS and can’t see the football because there are no white stripes. All of that does not bode well for a week 1 win. Now I don’t think the Vikings are particularly good I just think the Bengals are bad.
PITT @ BUF (-6.5)
Buffalo enters the year with the third best odds to win the super bowl. A big reason for that is Josh Allen has solidified himself as a MVP front runner after his breakout year last year. I expect him and the offense to pick up where they left off last year and I expect the defense to improve. They added pass rushing help in the early rounds which will help. Now I know they weren’t terrible defensively last year but they were a big step down from where they were in 2019. If they can recapture that 2019 defensive performance and their 2020 offensive performance they will be a force. On the other side I don’t think anyone knows what to expect from Big Ben this year. Last year Big Ben more than half of Bens passes attempts traveled no more than six yards downfield. Are we to expect this to change with Ben entering year 18? Add in the fact that their best player hasn’t had any practice time after sitting out all of training camp waiting for a new contract. I just don’t see the Steelers keeping this within a TD and think the Bills cover easy.
Pick: BUFF -6.5
ARI @ TENN (O/U 53.5)
It is tough not to be all over the over in this game. The Titians have one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL over the past two years and the Cardinals have been in the top half of the league in scoring since Kylar came to town. Now the Arizona offensive line does scare me especially considering the fact they are starting 2 former Jets both of whom were let go for being shitty. Luckily for them it won’t matter much against a Tennessee team that is horrible on defense. I think this game will turn into a shoot out and end up with a similar score to Thursday nights game. I think Arizona is gonna air the ball out more than they already did and I think we will see the Titians show off their new weapon Julio a lot.
Pick: Over 53.5
CLE @ KC (O/U 54.5)
The only thing that could hurt this over is if the Browns try to slow down the game with their running game. Though I don’t think it will matter much as Patrick Mahomes has been absolutely lights out in the NFL’s opening month. He is a perfect 10-0 record wise and has 32 TD to 0 INT’s. Just typing that out as a Jets fan who had to watch Sam Darnold during that same time frame is very depressing. I expect Mahomes to continue his opening month dominance and I think the Browns have the fire power to put some points on the board and push this game over.
Pick: Over 54.5
CHI @ LAR (O/U 46.5)
I hate picking an under in week 1 but this is a game that I think I’m going to have to. I think the Rams will have success and I am excited to see Stafford in this offense I just don’t trust the Bears to put up more than 15 points. Andy Dalton does not inspire confidence in any fan base let alone a fan base with a top15 rookie QB waiting in the wings. I don’t know why Nagy decided not to play their best QB to open the season but until he does make the change I will be hammering Bears under. Along with taking the game under I will also take the Bears team under 18.5. Since Nagy’s first season his offenses have been very bad and I don’t know how he is still employed. He may be able to buy himself some time if Fields comes in midway and plays well but I would expect this to be his last season in Chicago.
Picks: CHI Under 18.5, Under 46.5